The Remains of a Family

So what do you when your father, who molested you and your brother when you were both little boys, spends the last three years writing stories that promote incest to the internet, stories that attract thousands of fans and that he wants to share with you? What do you do next?

I mean, aside from therapy.

Yeah, I don’t really have a good answer for that one.

I can tell you that in the weeks following New Year’s Eve (when I found the stories) I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if my father was a psychopath. I didn’t come up with an answer there, either.

Then I started thinking about those common bits of wisdom, you know, like “blood is thicker than water,” or “everyone turns into their parents eventually.”  Sometimes, riding the train home through the tunnel, I’d look at my reflection in the darkened windows and catch sight of him looking back at me, through my own face.

I knew that there was something missing in him, something human, and because I’d felt myself grow cold and shut down as the years went by, I wondered how much of him was in me. But I’d like to think the coldness was a reaction against what he did, not some genetic bit of wiring guaranteed to short me out before I hit 50.

I’m not driven by the need to prosecute my father in a court of law. Maybe because I’ve already done the worst thing imaginable to him – I fucking told the internet everything. And though maybe I changed a few facts about him (not to protect him so much as to make it easier for me to “see” him, and write about him, with less of the obligational baggage I’d been carrying around), anyone who knows the two of us and who reads this thing, will now know what he did.

I’ve gone back over most of our correspondence in the past year and what I found was a man whose ultimate concern was not for his sons, but for himself. He was terrified of people knowing him for who he really was. So writing my 3partstory shut something off between us. We can’t go back now. I haven’t heard from him, and I hope I never will.

I think a lot about the line between sanity and madness, where I spend most of my time now. And I wonder who gets to decide where that line goes.

What I’m left with is a tremendous sadness, which was never safe to feel, growing up in a family where me and my brother were never wanted, by either parent. Where we couldn’t trust either of them.

My parental figures are gone. My brother and I are trying to figure out how to trust each other. And I know I’ll keep writing, to keep myself a couple of inches this side of madness, and ’cause I hope this fucked-up story will be of use to someone else.

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